Texas abortion providers ask court to rule now on challenge to abortion ban

Texas abortion providers ask court to rule now on challenge to abortion ban

Supporters of abortion rights protest in front of the Supreme Court in 2016. (Rena Schild via Shutterstock) Telling the justices that “Texas is in crisis,” the abortion providers challenging Texas’ ban on nearly all abortions in the state came to the Supreme Court on Thursday , asking the court to weigh in on the law’s unusual enforcement scheme without waiting for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit to first issue a final ruling in the case. The request came just over three weeks after the Supreme Court, in a 5-4 decision, declined to block the law from going into effect , instead sending the case back to the lower courts. Thursday’s appeal seeks to leapfrog the proceedings in the 5th Circuit and have the justices take up the question of whether the providers’ lawsuit can go forward at all; it does not ask the court to rule on whether the abortion ban itself is constitutional. The law at the heart of the case, S.B. 8 , is one of several so-called “heartbeat bills” enacted by Republican legislatures around the country as part of an effort to overturn the Supreme Court’s landmark decisions in Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood v. Casey , holding that the Constitution protects the right to have an abortion before the fetus can survive outside the womb. That benchmark normally occurs around 24 weeks of pregnancy; by contrast, S.B. 8 prohibits abortions beginning around the sixth week of pregnancy. To make it […]

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